With the economy in a downward spiral and unemployment approaching all-time highs a Frederick, MD company is continuing to expand its workforce to solve a growing security problem created by these poor economic conditions. Desks across the nation are sitting idle along with thousands of data rich PCs, laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices. This “abandoned” equipment is ripe for data theft. A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute found that six out of every ten U.S. workers stole company data when they left their jobs. The abundance of idle data containing equipment creates an easy opportunity for data breaches and theft, potentially costing companies millions of dollars. With experts predicting U.S. job losses to reach 1.5 million in 2009, the risk of a data breach needs to be addressed by companies.
According to Arleen Chafitz, CEO of e-End, a company specializing in secure data destruction and electronic recycling, “There are federal requirements for securing and destroying data and these requirements affect the one person office to the largest of corporations. They also cover healthcare providers who now have more stringent regulations.” Chafitz notes “The cost of properly maintaining the security of electronic data is low compared to the fines for non compliance and costs associated with recovering from a data breach.” According to a 2008 Ponemon Institute study, average costs for a data breach were in excess of $6.6 million.
e-End helps companies reduce the risk of a data breaches by conducting data security audits. “Few if any companies have the required procedures in place to protect data. Most companies we visit are not in compliance with current federal requirements for proper destruction of data or proper disposal of electronic equipment retired from service,” explains Chafitz.
The task of data destruction is generally relegated to IT staff. Federally compliant destruction of data on a single hard drive can take hours, depending on the size of the drive. Dedicating long IT man hours to data sanitation will cost companies significantly more when compared to e-End’s rate of less than $10 per drive for serial number capture, degaussing and shredding. Another factor supporting a third party performing data destruction is a recent study conducted by Cyber-Ark. It reported that nearly nine out of ten IT professionals would take company secrets with them if they were fired. Using an independent third party to certify the destruction of electronic data should be standard procedure for all companies, healthcare providers and government agencies. What companies may save by downsizing could be insignificant compared to the major costs to recover from a data breach, plus the lost trust of clients and customers.
For further information about data security, on site data destruction, federal compliance and recycling of end-of-life electronics call 240-529-1010 or visit www.eendusa.com . e-End has a Zero Landfill Policy.